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Lamentations 3:31-34

Context

כ (Kaf)

3:31 For the Lord 1  will not

reject us forever. 2 

3:32 Though he causes us 3  grief, he then has compassion on us 4 

according to the abundance of his loyal kindness. 5 

3:33 For he is not predisposed to afflict 6 

or to grieve people. 7 

ל (Lamed)

3:34 To crush underfoot

all the earth’s prisoners, 8 

1 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

2 tn The verse is unusually short and something unrecoverable may be missing.

3 tn Heb “Although he has caused grief.” The word “us” is added in the translation.

4 tn Heb “He will have compassion.” The words “on us” are added in the translation.

5 tc The Kethib preserves the singular form חַסְדּוֹ (khasdo, “his kindness”), also reflected in the LXX and Aramaic Targum. The Qere reads the plural form חֲסָדָיו (khasadayv, “his kindnesses”) which is reflected in the Latin Vulgate.

6 tn Heb “he does not afflict from his heart.” The term לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) preceded by the preposition מִן (min) most often describes one’s initiative or motivation, e.g. “of one’s own accord” (Num. 16:28; 24:13; Deut. 4:9; 1Kings 12:33; Neh. 6:8; Job 8:10; Is. 59:13; Ezek. 13:2, 17). It is not God’s internal motivation to bring calamity and trouble upon people.

7 tn Heb “sons of men.”

8 tn Heb “prisoners of earth/land.” The term ארצ may refer to (1) the earth or (2) a country or (3) the promised land in particular (as well as other referents). “Earth” is chosen here since the context presents God’s general principles in dealing with humanity. Given the historical circumstances, however, prisoners from the land of Israel are certainly in the background.



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